THE RSPCA is appealing for help to trace the owner of an emaciated and injured dog found on parkland in New Ferry.
It is thought the male terrier-type - which had to be put to sleep because his condition was so severe - had been dumped.
RSPCA animal collection officer Derek Hampson was on duty when the call came in. He said: "The poor thing was in a horrendous state.
advertisement"His bones were protruding and he had several injuries, including one to his hip, which had become infested with maggots.
"The vet decided that the most humane thing to do was to end his suffering as quickly as possible."
The dog was found collapsed and unable to move behind a brick building on parkland off Shorefields last week, when a dog being walked off-the-lead came across him. The owner called the RSPCA.
The terrier-type, which hadn't been neutered and wasn't microchipped, was wearing a black flea collar.
The incident is now being investigated. RSPCA inspector Rachel Andrews said: "Based on his condition it seems very unlikely the dog got there on his own.
"We want to hear from anyone who recognises him or who saw anything suspicious in the area over the weekend or in the couple of days previously."
If you think you can help, call the RSPCA cruelty and advice line in confidence on 0300 1234 999 and ask to leave a message for Inspector Andrews.